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The Lagos State National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) on Tuesday nullified the Lagos State Parks and Garages and reinstated operations of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).
The court also voided the appointment of Musiliu Akinsanya (MC Oluomo) as caretaker committee chairman.
While delivering her judgment, Justice Maureen Esowe said the suspension of RTEAN in the state and setting up a caretaker committee is illegal and against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
RTEAN had instituted the suit marked NICN/LA/381/2022 in October 2022 to challenge the Lagos State government for allegedly dissolving the elected executive committee of the union in the state and appointing a caretaker body, known as the parks and garages administrators.
The defendants in the suit are the governor, the attorney-general of the state, and Sola Giwa, who is the special adviser to the state governor on transportation among others.
The union through its counsel Elisha Kurah (SAN) argued that a state cannot interfere in the affairs of a trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act of 2004. He added that the state can not dissolve the union, saying such matters are handled by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“The government dissolved RTEAN, suspended its operations, and took over the garages. The union is challenging Lagos State since union matters are under the federal ministry,” he said.
The counsel for the state government Adebayo Haroun however contended that the government did not violate the law nor dissolve the national body’s operations in the state, but sought to maintain law and order by creating the ad-hoc committee when violence ensued between the unions.
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